Positioning your library as an essential service


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Positioning your library as an essential service

  1. 1. Positioning Your Library As An Essential Service: Marketing, Advocacy and Public VotesWho You’re Learning With• Libby Post, President/CEO of Communication Services• Work with libraries in NY and NJ on branding and building referendums, budget votes and charter changes• Train library directors and library boards on how to run successful campaigns 1
  2. 2. What Tonight Is All About• Discussion of how to position your library as an essential service• Why library board trustees must be advocates for their library• How you can stabilize your funding baseWhat Does MarketingHave To Do With It?• Establish the library as an “essential service” in the community• Market the library using emotional branding methods• Have the library be a reflection of your community• Advocate for library while building community support 2
  3. 3. What Does AdvocacyHave To Do With It?• If you don’t speak out on behalf of the library, why should anyone else?• As trustees, need to make connections throughout the community to reinforce library as an essential service• Community leaders, elected officials, PTA moms• Not politicians, advocates• Advocacy is the tool citizens use in our democracy to bring about improvements.What Do Public VotesHave To Do With It?• Accountability to the tax payers• More reliable funding sources• Taking your case to the public with coherent, cohesive messages• Reinforcing your position 3
  4. 4. Working Marketing Branding/Together Campaigns Campaigns Board Board Success Commitment Commitment When branding/marketing, Advocacy Advocacy board commitment, campaigns and advocacy come together, you will be successful.What is Branding?• Integral part of • Emotional branding: marketing – Love• Sets libraries apart – Hate from other public – Hope institutions – Fear• Sum total of all • Libraries give people attitudes, perceptions hope, a sense of and beliefs about your community, a long life library of learning 4
  5. 5. What is Marketing?• All activities geared to raising the identity and use of the library• Libraries need to market – Reinforces position as an essential service for the community – Reinforces that libraries are very relevant and haven’t been replaced by the internet – Positions library to garner community support for voter initiativesMarketing 101 • Define mission and programs • Define audiences: children, adults, seniors, families, potential donors, opinion leaders, elected officials, etc. • Examine strengths and weaknesses • Define messages and supporting points • Establish graphic identification—logo—and graphic standards • Develop initiatives/campaigns to brand the library in the community as an essential service 5
  6. 6. Developing Your Message• Draw people in on an emotional level – Appeals to positive emotions of love and hope • What’s in it for them • What’s in it for their families, their children• Speak to people in ways that reflect their values and show how their values align with the library’s values• Always maintaining the “essential service” themeDeveloping Your Message• Spur residents to action – Provide them with a sense of ownership (Yeah, it’s my library!)• Respect Taxpayers• Answer negatives by reframing issue along library’s value system 6
  7. 7. Examine your strengths & weaknesses: SWOT session• INTERNAL • EXTERNAL – Opportunities – Strengths – Threats – Weaknesses • EXPLORE• EXPLORE – Position of the library in – People the community • Staff – What values the library stands for in the • Board community • Patrons – What’s important to the – Programs and community ServicesExercise• Mini-SWOT Session – One value to describe library – One strength about the people – One weakness about the people – One strength about the programs and services – One weakness . . . – How is library viewed? – What’s important to your community? 7
  8. 8. Developing Your Message• Emotional Branding Love Hate Hope FearDeveloping Your Message• VALUES are important!• Values tell us that an issue matters. – Draw residents in on an emotional level – Using emotional branding along with values is a powerful combination• Values are the basis of advocacy efforts 8
  9. 9. Developing Your Message• Empathy/compassion • Responsibility• Strength • Protection• Fairness • Opportunity• Fulfillment • Freedom• Education • Community• Prosperity • Cooperation• Service • Honesty• Trust • Creativity• Open Communication • Equal OpportunityDeveloping Your Message• Values and Emotional Branding – A great combination – You define the library, you define the emotional tie, you define the value – You communicate forcefully, straightforward, with conviction and by using the common everyday language of your values. 9
  10. 10. Developing Your Message• In 1992, when James Carville ran Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign the following phrase was on the white board KISS Keep It Simple Stupid Don’t over think. Remember who your audience is.Combining Marketingand Advocacy• When you know – what your message is – how you want to position the library – how you want the library to be seen• You can more effectively advocate for the library• You can more effectively build community support and get others to carry your message for you 10
  11. 11. Advocacy • Building relationships with elected officials and community leaders • Understanding your job • Understanding their job • Making the library a political+ • Mobilizing your constituency • Getting your message outYou and Your Electeds• Taxpayers use your library and get one of the best returns on investment in public service• Let your electeds know who you are and what the library does• Local, state, national• Having support from opinion leaders/community groups will help 11
  12. 12. You and Your Electeds• Your job is to educate them on your library and how they can help to – Meet community expectations – Get a bill passed – Increase funding – You get the idea• Have a one-pager developed on your library• Integrate it into a packet with other library materialsNo Matter What Level• Remember what Tip O’Neill said: “ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL!” 12
  13. 13. Take Tip’s Tip to Heart• Bring the library home to your electeds – Personal stories about their constituents and how library has made a difference – Brainstorm with staff, board and stakeholders to develop – Personalize the benefits• Know who they are – Do a little research—do they have a library card? – What they’re interested in – Tie library into pet projects and issuesYou and Your Electeds• Schedule a meeting• Have a clear agenda• Know who will do the talking• Have specific talking points developed• 10-15 minutes max• Be prepared to meet with staff – May be more effective 13
  14. 14. You and Your Electeds• Ask, Ask, Ask—persistence pays off• If answer is no, ask another question• Let them know who supports the library• Remember—they’re public servants too• Follow up with a letter• Keep the relationship going – Provide library events s/he would want to come to – Make the library a political+You and Your Electeds• Organize a campaign – Letter writing – Post cards – Phone calls – Books-ins – E-mails/action alerts – Be creative – Build momentum--if it doesn’t work one year, doesn’t mean it won’t work the next 14
  15. 15. Case Study: Saugerties Public LibrarySpecial Legislative District Public Library, service pop. 19,868• Needed to raise the identity of the Library before asking public to vote on a $6.9 million referendum• SWOT analysis – Library was important but not as important as town recreation activities• Strategy – Triangulate recreation, make it integral to the libraryCase Study: Saugerties PublicLibrary• Rebranded Library – New slogan – New look – New logo 15
  16. 16. Case Study: Saugerties Public LibraryCase Study: Saugerties Public Library 16
  17. 17. Case Study: Saugerties Public LibraryCase Study: Saugerties Public Library 17
  18. 18. Case Study: Saugerties Public LibraryCase Study: Saugerties Public Library 18
  19. 19. Case Study: Saugerties Public LibraryCase Study: Saugerties Public Library 19
  20. 20. Case Study: Saugerties Public LibraryCase Study: Saugerties Public Library 20
  21. 21. Case Study: Saugerties Public LibraryCase Study: Saugerties Public Library 21
  22. 22. Case Study: Saugerties Public Library• Saugerties Taxpayers for an Expanded Library – Collect petition signatures of names we can use in brochures and ads• Will enable you to develop – Supporters – Volunteers – E-mail listsCase Study: Saugerties Public Library• Voter Contact – Three rounds of phone banking • Round One: ID voters • Round Two: ID voters, talk to undecideds previously identified • Round Three: Reminder calls Monday and Tuesday before vote • Round Four: GOTV calls days of vote 22
  23. 23. Case Study: Saugerties Public Library• Public Relations – Web site: http://www.thenewsaugertieslibrary.org/ – Placing stories in weeklies – Letters to the Editor • Developed talking points that people used • Maintained message in their own voice – Public Presentations The Path to a 21st Century Library What the May 7th Vote Is All About. 23
  24. 24. An Original Carnegie Library• Built in 1915, the footprint of the Saugerties Public Library hasn’t changed• But, the use of the library has Side of Library Building Washington Ave. These stats come from2007 Usage your annual report.• 5,468 people attended 317 programs• 84,552 patron visits to the library• 8,453 registered patrons• 105,630 items circulated• Public computer used 10,202 times• Library open 48 hours/week• All done within 4,650 sq. ft. 24
  25. 25. 4,650 sq. ft. = Space constraints• Every time we add to the collection, something has to come off the shelves• No real access to local history collection• People constantly waiting to use public computers• Turn away children from story hour• Can’t meet demands of patrons• Not meeting ADA requirements4,650 sq. ft. = Space constraints• Large programs shut down access to the library• Can only accommodate 50 people safely• Can’t provide community with meeting space as other libraries do• No place for people to work together• No quiet study area• No comfortable seating 25
  26. 26. What the Community Wants.• Throughout the process, we’ve asked the community what it wants in a new library – Stay in the village – Provide public meeting space – Expand collections – Make the building ADA compliant• Doing all that and moreDiscover Your 21st Century Library• From 4,650 sq. ft. to 13,162 sq. ft.• From two inaccessible floors, to a fully accessible building on two floors with an elevator at street-level entrance 26
  27. 27. Discover Your 21st Century Library Family Lodge Cahill School Proposed Addition Present LibraryDiscover Your 21st Century Library New New Building Street-Level Entrance 93 Washington Ave & 3 Division St. Were purchased to allow expansion 27
  28. 28. Discover Your 21st Century Library• Expanded collection of books, CDs, DVDs & audio books• Periodical reading area• New and Popular materials Main Floor• Local history room• Quiet study/tutoring roomDiscover Your 21st Century Library• Expanded children’s library including a dedicated story hour space• Teens have a space all to themselves• Public meeting space that Ground Floor seats 90 and allows community activities after the library is closed 28
  29. 29. Connect at your 21st Century Library• Wireless access throughout the building• Public computers – 12 on the main floor – 9 on the ground floor• Connect with your community – Use the public meeting space – Read, study, learn, grow – Interact with othersGrow Our 21st Century Library• Wednesday, May 7th, chance to vote for a $6.995 million bond referendum to finance the library expansion• Bonding through the town – Similar to taking out a mortgage• All registered voters in Town of Saugerties are eligible to vote 29
  30. 30. Grow Our 21st Century LibraryConstruction, contingenciesand historic preservation: $5,144,513.00Temporary spaceand collection relocation: $44,000.00Furnishings $355,374.00Professional and other costs: $1,251,353.00Site acquisition: $200,000.00 Total: $6,995,240.00Grow Our 21st Century Library• For a Saugerties home with an average assessment of $200,000, taxpayer responsibility would be $67 per year for at least 25 years• For less than $5.60 a month – An expanded library that will serve our community for generations – Restore one of our most treasured buildings in Saugerties 30
  31. 31. Grow Our 21st Century Library• Our commitment is to pursuing grants and private fund raising to offset cost of project• Your commitment is to vote on Wednesday, May 7th• Polls at the Library• Open 12 noon to 9 p.m.• Up to Date info: www.thenewsaugertieslibrary.orgCase Study: Saugerties Public Library• Outcome – 2,084 people voted on Wednesday, May 7th – 1272 voted yes, 812 voted no. – The library won its referendum with 63.8% of the vote! Original 8,300+Carnegie sq. ft. Library addition 31
  32. 32. Stabilizing Your Funding Base• School District Public Library• Special Legislative District Public Library• Association Library District• 414 Votes• School Ballot InitiativesWhat Is a Public Library District?• Any public library that – Obtains a substantial amount (60% or higher) of its funding through a direct public vote – Has a Board of Trustees that is publicly elected by eligible voters within the library’s service area 32
  33. 33. Upper Hudson Library System 13 Association Libraries 16 Public Libraries (School District, Leg. District, Municipal)Albany County 33
  34. 34. Rensselaer CountyYour Public Library Options• School District Public Library – Service area uses the same boundaries as the school district – Created by school district voters – School District is taxing agent – Library functions independently – Elected trustees provide “representation” for taxpayers – Potential to increase tax base and expand library’s programs and services 34
  35. 35. Your Public Library Options• School District Public Library – Opportunity to bond for capital projects, place building referendums on the ballot – Once established, library sets time and place for any and all elections – Simple process for increasing funding through yearly budget votes – More stabilized fundingYour Public Library Options• Special Legislative District Public Library – Service area is determined by existing library board or interested community group – Based on present patron base and/or unserved neighboring areas – Municipality is taxing agent • Functions separately from municipality – State enabling legislation includes local election to establish and fund a new library • Specifies service area and election process 35
  36. 36. Your Public Library Options• School District Public Library – Ability to bond for capital projects – Elected trustees provide “representation” for taxpayersYour Public Library Options• Association Library District – Substantial amount of operating budget (60%) must come from municipal or school district ballot (Ch. 259.1.2 of NYS Ed. Law) – By-laws or charter state that trustees are elected – Ability to bond for capital projects – Elected trustees provide “representation” for taxpayers 36
  37. 37. Your Public Library Options• Association Library District – Not part of Civil Service – May not require a new charter but may require a charter revision – Library controls budget process – More stabilized fundingBenefits of aPublic Library District• Predictable funding stream• Enables library to secure additional tax support and expand its tax base• Potential to include unserved areas• Potential to bond for capital projects• Increases the library’s – Autonomy – Accountability – Community ownership 37
  38. 38. Funding Options• Place proposition on a municipal ballot, Chapter 414 – Association Libraries – Public Libraries serving areas outside official chartered area• Place proposition on a school district ballot – SameSteps to a Chapter 414 Voteor Municipal Ballot• Confirm petition deadline with local board of elections – Start talking to board of elections months in advance• Petition drive to put budget on ballot – Amount of signatures needed is 10% of the number of votes case in last gubernatorial election• Review and verify signatures on petitions using voter file from Board of Elections 38
  39. 39. Steps to a Chapter 414 Voteor Municipal Ballot• Board passes resolution supporting proposition• Submit petitions to Board of Elections for approval• Educate the voters on why and how much• Vote takes place at next general election (November) – Ballot proposition will be in a separate place on machine• Municipality collects tax moneySteps to a School District Ballot• Board passes resolution and sends letter directing the school district to place a funding proposition on the ballot – Include amount to be voted upon – Make sure proper language is on the ballot • “Shall the proposition be approved authorizing the Board of Education of the ______ School District to levy taxes annually in the amount of $_______ ($XXX,XXX) and to pay over such monies to the Trustee of the ______ Public Library . . .” 39
  40. 40. Is It Worth the Risk?• 90% of public library budgets are approved by voters each year• Approval rates for creating new public library districts exceeds 50%• Per capita support for libraries with a public vote on their budgets is twice as high as those that depend on direct appropriationsHow To Move Forward• Explore the options and make a decision which must include a clear commitment on the part of the board to move the process forward• Notify your local Library System and the Division of Library Development• Put together a team that will shepherd the process and the project 40
  41. 41. How To Move Forward• Develop timeline, work back from the date of the vote• Figure out what legal and other consultant help you’ll need• Develop a budget for the transition project – Remember, “Vote Yes” materials can not be paid for out of library fundsHow To Move Forward• Determine the position of the library – Do you need to rebrand and market to raise the library’s identity and position as an essential service? – What are your relationships like with local elected and appointed officials, community leadership or organizations? – How committed is the board?• What will advocacy efforts be? 41
  42. 42. How To Move Forward• Implement marketing campaign• Advocate for library – Network and solicit support from officials and community groups – Reach out to state legislators, if necessary• Implement education campaign to explain the why and how much• Implement a “Vote Yes” campaign – Target, organize and Get Out the VoteCase Study: Grinnell LibraryAssociation Library, chartered to serve the Town of Wappinger,service pop. 26, 274• Needed to raise the identity of the library before going to the public with a 414 vote – Asking for an additional $24/year or $2/month• SWOT analysis – Library has unbelievable customer service• Strategy – Establish an I/you/us relationship between the library and the community 42
  43. 43. Case Study: Grinnell Library• Emotional attachment to the present buildingCase Study: Grinnell Library• Customer Service brand + emotional attachment to building = 43
  44. 44. Case Study: Grinnell Library• When you do a 414, you need to collect petition signatures – (10% of the last gubernatorial election) Petitioning Palm CardCase Study: Grinnell LibraryPosters 44
  45. 45. Case Study: Grinnell LibraryPostersCase Study: Grinnell LibraryPosters 45
  46. 46. Case Study: Grinnell Library PostcardsCase Study: Grinnell LibraryWeeklyNewspaperAds 46
  47. 47. Case Study: Grinnell Library• Advocacy – Reaching out to PTAs – Reaching out to opinion leaders, elected officials• Targeted Vote Yes Direct Mail• Phone Banking/Voter ID• Vote to be held on Election DayWrap Up• It is imperative that library • Stabilize funding positions itself as an – Public library districts essential service provide more financial stability Steps to be taken• Library board members must act as advocates • Develop campaigns – Marketing• Library board must be – Electoral 100% committed • Organize for the Vote• Engage the public and build support• Reach out to your electeds 47